Lisa’s Story of Hope

The chronic nature of substance use disorder means that relapsing at some point is not only possible, but likely. But, at Samaritan Inns, redemption is also likely. This is Lisa’s story.

Lisa was at Samaritan Inns three times. When she first came, she had just that year started smoking crack. “I didn’t think I had a problem,” she said. Two years later, when she finally admitted that she had a problem, she came back and Lynette (now the Co-Director of the Affordable Housing Communities program who went through Samaritan Inns herself) was her roommate. At Samaritan Inns, Lisa was introduced to a loving God, and she felt hopeful.

But, after a few months clean, Lisa left and again relapsed. “It was then that I went through a lot of trials. I became homeless. My Mom had to take care of my daughter.” Someone at the shelter suggested she try Samaritan Inns again, because of its programs’ reputation. The day Lisa applied, there were only three beds left for women, and there were six applicants. But she was determined this time. She said “No matter what, I will not go back out there. I will not use again.”

“I was being interviewed by this woman, and – in the midst of it — she said ‘Wait a minute, aren’t you Lisa?’ And I said ‘Yes, I’m Lisa.’ She said ‘Don’t you remember me? I’m Lynette. I was your roommate.’ I was scared because I thought I was big and bad back then. But she just embraced me and said ‘Welcome home.’”

This time, Lisa successfully went through all three phases of Samaritan Inns’ Recovery Continuum: the Treatment Program, followed by Transition at the Harvard Street Inn, then the long-term recovery program.

Later on, Lynette saw her again at an AA meeting, and suggested she apply for a Monitor position. She was offered a job the same day.
Samaritan Inn Monitors are responsible for holding clients accountable to the rules and regulations of the inns. They also care for the needs of the clients, working as a liaison. “I listen to them. Also, I give words of encouragement. One liners: this too shall pass. One day at a time,” Lisa said. “As a Monitor, I always feel the need – especially because I was on that side – to provide hope and encouragement.”

“Lisa has been an excellent and reliable Monitor,” says the Clinical Director of the Adult Treatment Program. “She is eager to learn more so she can be a stronger member of the team. She is also a uniquely encouraging presence with staff and clients.”

Lisa has a daughter, Leah, who is very supportive of her. She also has two grandchildren who call her Nana. “They live in Maryland and I see them often,” she proudly says.

Samaritan Inns’ properties provide not just treatment and recovery, but a loving place that our clients and residents are proud to call home. “I remember the chandelier that greeted me when I first walked into that house on Harvard Street … wow! Everything that I needed, Samaritan Inns provided to me. Not just the tangible things, but also the intangibles: the relationships with the counselors. You just felt so loved here. So that’s what I try to do … to give the love back. And it’s not me; it’s the God who lives in me that allows me to do these things. And I’m thankful to Samaritan Inns for leading me this far.”

Donate Today

Make a donation to help us sustain our mission and provide help
to those who need it in the Washington, DC area.